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RESEARCH FOR HEALTH NEWSLETTER, NOVEMBER 2012 A periodic, informative bulletin reporting on the activities of research for health. Its purpose is to inform countries, partners, and PAHO managers and staff on the advances in the execution of PAHO’s Policy on Research for Health. Please send questions and comments to villanue@paho.org.

International meetings Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR) Hosted by the McMaster Health Forum, the 45th meeting of the PAHO Advisory Committee on Health Research (ACHR) took place in Hamilton, Canada, on 17-19 October. The Committee met to prepare for the transfer to the new Administration and to discuss the development of the Strategy and Plan of Action for the Research for Health Policy. It was a fruitful conference where McMaster Figure 1:CAIS/ACHR Participants along with the Secretariat organized several activities including a public talk by Dr. Roses who addressed about 150 students, a “speed mentoring session” at which Committee members and PAHO staff interacted with McMaster students, presentation of the exhibit Art for Research in the Lyons center (more below) and a side meeting where PAHO and McMaster officials discussed the terms for renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between PAHO and McMaster (see more). See also an interview with Dr. Roses made by Radio Canada International.

CRICS, Washington DC. 22-25 October The Regional Congress on Health Sciences Information, CRICS, was held from October 22 to October 25. This meeting convened about 400 professionals who participated in many sessions and workshops with a focus on E-health. A rich agenda was presented and the research team was an active participant in several different sessions. Luis Gabriel Cuervo served as moderator for the Plenary Session 3 on integrating scientific evidence in health decision panel that touched on diverse related topics including promoting use of research findings for clinical practice and the role of scientific evidence in health policies. Evelina Chapman led a presentation on Knowledge Translation, focusing on the development of EVIPNet Americas. Iveta Simera from the Equator Network, offered a workshop on accurate research reporting and Eleana C Villanueva complemented with a presentation of the PAHO/Equator partnership. Ludovic Reveiz attended the meeting for journal editors and presented on characteristics of clinical trials published by researchers that are analyzed by the type of financing. See the full journal editors program here.


XVI Latin American Congress on Pediatrics - ALAPE November, 2012 ALAPE 2012 was carried out from 6 to 9 November in the Palace of Congresses of Cartagena. PAHO was invited to participate and had an important presence starting with the presence of Gina Tambini, Manager of the Family Health Program, as member of the panel of aperture and continuing with Yehuda Benguigui, former PAHO/WHO staff member, who was recognized for his work to improve child health. Luis Gabriel Cuervo and Evelina Chapman offered respectively a presentation on the tools of implementation of research policy for pediatrics and a workshop on EVIPNet (see more below). In addition, there was an exhibition for Art for Research presented in collaboration with UNFPA (more below).

XIII Pan American Nursing Research Colloquium, Miami, September 2012. Opened by former Secretary of Health and President of the University of Miami, Dr. Donna Shalala, and Dean of the School of Nursing and Director of the WHO Collaborating Center, Dr. Nilda Peragallo, the Colloquium covered a wide range of nursing themes (agenda). Colloquium keynote speakers included Luis Gabriel Cuervo who made a presentation highlighting the importance of health research and demonstrated resources developed for the implementation of PAHO’s Research for Health Policy such as the HRWeb, the ICTRP, the Health Systems Evidence (HSE) , and the Equator Network Guidelines. See his full presentation here. Silvina Malvarez, Regional Advisor for Nursing, was also recognized for her continuous efforts to improve the nursing profession and enrich the Nursing Colloquiums.

Workshop on Health, Environment, and Sustainable Development Governance, Rio de Janeiro, September 2012. From 27 to 29 September at the headquarters of the Sul-American Institute of Governo `aes` ` Saúde [South American Institute of Government in Health (ISAGS)] in Rio de Janeiro, a meeting was held with the Directing Council of ISAGS, which is made up of the National Coordinators of the South American Health Council. Evelina Chapman, EVIPnet Américas Coordinator, participated as did the Program of Environment and Sustainable Development of PAHO. Investigators of several countries met to discuss how to improve intersecoral health governance in UNASUR. See the presentation on Governance in Health, Environment, and Sustainable Development here.


VI NeTropica Biennial, Copan, Honduras: Research without Borders The sixth biennial of NeTropica was held in Copan, Honduras and discussed the major infectious diseases of Honduras and the necessity of connecting research networks in Central America with the rest of the Latin American Region. During the biennial, a new masters in infectious diseases at the U. of Honduras was announced. Watch the video on the event and also more photos here.

Bellagio Conference on “Complex Systems: Advancing Health Systems Policy Design and Planning, Sepetember 2012

An international group of scientists, health care providers, and health policy makers from a range of countries, participated in the Rockefeller Foundationsponsored Bellagio Conference on “Complex Systems Analysis: Advancing Health Systems Policy Design and Planning” from September 24-28, 2012. The conference was hosted in Bellagio Centre, Italy. The discussions were fruitful and productive and the group was able to come to consensus on health systems by agreeing that they are complex systems and can be analyzed through complex systems science. More information can be found here.


Art for Research Art for Research is an exhibit that strives to illustrate the value of research for improving health which in turn provides socio-economic returns and fosters development. To set the exhibit, PAHO collaborated with British Fine Art photographer Theo Chalmers to create portraits of professionals that have made a difference in public health. Each portrait is unique and delves into the interesting stories in health, development, and research to create beautiful artwork. The exhibit also includes a series of stories illustrated by photo journalist Jane Dempster who traveled through Latin America documenting stories of transformational health research. See more here. The exhibit will continue to be presented during 2013 throughout the Region. If interested in displaying it, write to RP@paho.org. Hamilton, October On 17 October 2012, The Art for Research was presented at McMaster’s University through the efforts of the McMaster Health Forum, Lyons Media Center, and the 45th PAHO Advisory Committee on Health Research. See more pictures here and the podcast.

Cartagena, November VER MAS. Art for Research exhibit was presented at Cartagena in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and ALAPE. Special thanks to Dr. María Lucía Mesa from UNFPA and the 2012 ALAPE Organizing Committee for her excellent work in securing the exhibit during ALAPE 2012.

Honduras, Tegucigalpa, September The Art for Research exhibit was present at the 19th Scientific Meeting and the Sixth Congress of Research in Health Sciences in Tegucigalpa, Honduras from 19 to 21 September at the Clarion Hotel. Images of the event can be found here. In this image participants enjoy mimicking the portraits.

Honduras, COPAN, May The Art for Research exhibit presented in COPAN at NeTropica: Research without Borders.

Washington DC, September Dr. Maria Isabel Rodriguez receives a copy of her portrait included in the Art for Research exhibit as a token from the collaborating team for putting together the exhibit. As part of the celebration of 110 years held in El Salvador in October, a special tribute was made in honor of her 90th birthday.

El Salvador October As part of its 110th anniversary, PAHO El Salvador presented “Art for Research: Shaping the World” a collection of daring portraits by Theo Chalmers featuring international leaders, including Dr. Maria Isabel Rodriguez, Minister of Health in El Salvador. Read more here.


Research policy implementation CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION Julia Belluz, associate editor of the Medical Post, wrote a provocative piece titled “The Health Story We’ve Been Missing on Clinical Trial Registration.” She invites the Canadian government to not push web-based trials as if it is an innovative step to prevent clinical deaths. Rather, she asks that government enforce the registration of all clinical trials in order to provide much needed transparency in clinical research. The article was published in Science-ish, a joint project of Medical Post and the McMaster Health Forum. For the full article, click here.

EVIPNet Americas Colombia During ALAPE 12, a group of pediatricians from the American Association on Pediatrics participated in an EVIPNet workshop which focused on evidence informed policies for children. Evelina Chapman, EVIPnet Americas Coordinator, offered the workshop to help pediatricians familiarize themselves with the notion that policies informed by the best evidence have been shown to contribute to better quality and more robust and equitable health policies. Brazil Two EVIPNet policy briefs originally published in Portuguese are now available in English: “Physical activity and Prevention/Control of Arterial Hypertension in Primary Healthcare” (Atenção Primária à Saúde, APS) and “The Prevention and Control of Dengue Fever in Urban Areas.” See both here.

Guidelines A case study addressing the importance of Reporting Guidelines has been published in the Research portal as part of the shared initiative between PAHO and its strategic partner the Equator Network, to improve research reporting in Latin America and the Caribbean. The goal for 2013, is to work so that authors know and use internationally approved reporting guidelines which will increase transparency and accountability of published research. Use of reporting guidelines increases the possibility that studies get published in peer reviewed journals. See the case study here. Roke Iko, intern, compiled the case study.


Resources PRISMA-Equity 2012 was launched in the framework of the Second Symposium of Health Systems Research in Beijing. PRISMA-E 2012 is an extension of the PRISMA statement developed in 2009 and aims to improve reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses by promoting completeness in reporting of methods. The new extension has a major focus on health equity and preventing unnecessary and avoidable health inequalities. It will soon be translated into Spanish. Reference: Welch V, Petticrew M, Tugwell P, Moher D, O'Neill J, et al. (2012) PRISMA-Equity 2012 Extension: Reporting Guidelines for Systematic Reviews with a Focus on Health Equity. PLoS Med 9(10): e1001333. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001333. In the picture to the right is the Bellagio Group. PRISMA Equity

Maya Movie: Health Systems This movie presents Maya a young girl who is able to celebrate her secondbirthday due to the infrastructure of strong health systems in her area. Developed by the World Bank, this video illustrates in an innovative way the importance of supporting public, private and community health systems that can overcome weaknesses and gaps and help in reducing the burden of disease. See the movie here.

New articles HRWeb Americas: a tool to facilitate better research governance in Latin America and the Caribbean. This special report outlines why a clear understanding on how a research system is constituted and how it operates is the first step needed to utilize research to improve the health. Villanueva Eleana C., Abreu David Ribeiro de, Cuervo Luis Gabriel, Becerra-Posada Francisco, Reveiz Ludovic, IJsselmuiden Carel. HRWeb Americas: a tool to facilitate better research governance in Latin America and the Caribbean. Cad. Saúde Pública [serial on the Internet]. 2012 Oct [cited 2012 Dec 03] ; 28(10): 2003-2008. Available here.

Cochrane systematic reviews are useful to map research gaps for decreasing maternal mortality This article describes the general mapping, prioritizing, reconciling, and updating approach and evaluates the use of an “evidence-mapping” approach to assess the usefulness of Cochrane reviews in identifying research gaps in maternal health. Published in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Volume 66, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 105–112. Former interns Stephanie Sangalang and Amy Chambliss contributed to the article. See it here. Chapman E, Reveiz L, Chambliss A, Sangalang S, Bonfill X. Cochrane systematic reviews are useful to map research gaps for decreasing maternal mortality Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, Volume 66, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 105– 112http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2012.


Research Newsletter (November 2012)